Gratitudes for Today:
1. Delighting in a fantastic lunch with a friend, was one of yesterday's pleasures. It wasn't the food, that was terrific, it was the
conversation. He's a fellow left-handed person; I like his global, non-linear thinking; it refreshes my soul; I enjoy his perspective, it enlarges my vision of life and its possibilities.
2. I appreciate the healing that happens when connecting at the heart level with dear ones. Bonding with safe people makes detaching from others who aren't healthy for my emotional or mental well-being, possible.
I have to clamber unto the live branch of healthy relationships. This needs doing before detaching from the deadwood branch of an abusive or unfair relationship, a limb that eventually would break away---with me standing on it---if I didn't exercise the discernment, courage and self-esteem necessary to escape from a certain future calamity.
3. I enjoy the posts you leave---it contributes towards the community we share here.
4. I got in a three mile walk the other day. I hiked it to meet my friend John for lunch. I'm glad for the exercise and catching some rays.
There is beauty in seemingly simple things, like this wall
Life is Our Spiritual Practice
I met with a client yesterday. Seeing her progress adds richness to my life. It's easy slipping into black and white, dogmatic reasoning. How sad it is being trapped within rigid thinking. She and I discussed ways this can be prevented since it's her nature being this way, a result of having an abusive childhood.
We looked at the challenges she has with her roommates as a spiritual practice. We spent time considering how she express herself, using nonviolent communication, how she relates with her housemates, letting them know her feelings, needs and requests. Her circumstances allow her to grow more than she would meditating in a cave, somewhere in the desert. We went over how a person can have serenity and thrive, even in the midst of chaos.
Yes, it's possible. I know tranquility, even when the squalls of life slap my face with the waves of unpleasantries and intense stressful moments. It was refreshing seeing her enthusiasm, after our time was up.
6. I like my work and am humbled I can serve others in their journeys through life.
7. I'll meet with a group of friends at 7:30 p.m. whose support I value.
At the event I'll meet someone and we're going to talk about prenatal depression, a subject not often discussed. With two other friends who attend, I'll process legal challenges; these friends have the expertise, am I glad.
I appreciate my friends availability. It's terrific knowing I'm not dealing with a multitude of issues alone. I'm not superman, nor will I ever be, nor do I want to be.
Being vulnerable and not hiding within the coffin of self-protection allows me to laugh all my laughter and cry all my tears."There is only one God and I am not it."
I made time in the mid-afternoon to study---investing in myself. I reviewed material that reminded me how we can express feelings in a way that's constructive, helpful and affirming while still taking care of our needs. Ongoing practice is necessary if they are to be a regular part of my life. I was reminded:
1. Often what we think is expressing our feelings is really expressing judgment. Example: " I feel you are disrespectful."
That's more a statement of what we believe that person has done to us, shown us disrespect, than a statement of our feelings, sadness, anger, resentment, etc. The above statement is a judgment. Which leads to another point that's important for us to be mindful of....
2. Judgments make people uncomfortable. They are heard as criticism. It's much better for us to express the need that is underneath our feelings. To continue with the example above: "I'm uncomfortable, because whenever I talk, I'm unable to finish my sentences. I value open communication and equality. Would it be possible for you to hear me completely, before you replying?"
3. Whenever a pronoun follows the word feel, we are expressing a thought. Same with the word "that."
E.g., "I feel she is....," "I feel that...."
Whatever follows will not be the expression of our feelings. Anyway, I love this sort of stuff. For more information about nonviolent communication, click here and here,
and lastly, here too
How About You?
What helps you to slow down, and take in the small pleasures life offers?
Here's to having a great and grateful Tuesday,